10 great-value Chilean reds under £15

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Chile by Peter Richards MW, DWWA Regional Chair, Chile

Chile by Peter Richards MW, DWWA Regional Chair, Chile

I love red wine and we all love a bargain. There’s arguably no better country than Chile for overdelivering at under £15, and reds are a particular forte – increasingly diverse, expressive, engaging wines that don’t break the bank. Elqui, San Antonio and the rapidly improving south (Maule/Itata) are prime sources of expressive, undervalued reds. Nor should we forget the oft-maligned Central Valley, where producers are able to fashion balanced reds from a number of different sources.

The cooler 2010 and 2011 vintages produced elegant reds, though the better wines from the warm 2009 are ageing well too. Note also that alcohol levels are falling: a welcome shift in stylistic emphasis, without compromising on flavour – these are heart-warming, characterful reds, ideal for winter.

My top 10 includes established classics and new faces. Prices have risen – driven by currency exchange issues and rising taxes in the UK – but this is the same for everyone. It’s testament to Chile’s pragmatic business approach that prices haven’t risen further. Many of the country’s wines continue to represent outstanding value for money.

Richards recommends...